…To cater for my 30th birthday. (Hint: lots of potato mix. All over her face)
Parties are a bit of a Tutti Bennett-forte, since she runs a slick kitchen and lives by the philosophy that you should always cook way way more than you need. Having five people round? Make enough for 10. Having 20 people? Cook enough for 50. Having 50 people? Hell – make enough for the population of Australia. That way, you can have leftovers that last for so many weeks and are turned into so many variations of things, that by the time you’ve finished eating them, you have no idea what the original meal actually was.
ANYWAY. My 30th birthday was a pretty happy one. I was in a good place professionally (having escaped from an office I referred to as ‘The Asylum’ – more on that, and it’s socially deranged inhabitants another day), I had a large and varied group of gorgeous girlfriends (a bit of a triumph for a former introverted anti-social) and a husband who pretty much makes me laugh til I gag. Every day. (Great for the abs).
The food was spectacular. There were huge vats of homemade hummus, and babaganoush, and generous, great hunks of frittata, and sausage rolls aplenty, and luscious bowls overflowing with fruit, and platters exploding with cakes and sweets and treats and champagne that flowed like a tap that’s running because someone has forgotten to turn it off (How’s THAT for a clunky metaphor?!) only less wasteful because it didn’t go down the drain, it went straight down my throat. (Hello, you delicious empty calories!)
Anyway, (GET TO THE POINT!) Tutti thought it would be a good idea to quadruple a recipe for mini potato cakes. Only something went wrong. So instead of a mixture that was going to make delicious, salty, crunchy-on-the-out-side-and-fluffy-on-the-inside balls of starchy goodness, she managed to create about 7 litres of what looked and smelt like glue. It was beigey-grey and very thick and very, very gluey. A bit like Clag – but much, much Claggier. And unlike Clag, you DEFINITELY couldn’t eat it.
Tutti bent down to have a sniff, and as she did so, my sister Fluffy, slammed the back of Tutti’s head into the bowl, so she performed a spectacular face-plant into the gooey, gluey mess.
Her first reaction, was to lie there, statue-still and shocked, as if she never expected to be cooking one minute, and face down in her culinary disaster the next.
And then, she laughed. We laughed. We all laughed so much we were helpless to it, clutching our sides in agony and roaring until our jaws ached.
It was pretty much the highlight of my day.
And despite finding flecks of potato on her face, and in her hair, for days, she still managed to scrub up pretty well, oh, about five minutes before the guests arrived.